another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Thursday, 30 December 2010

busy day at the loveless shed, me and dangerous payed a visit to wilemans motors in derby to pick up a load of stuff, i can remember the shop being crammed with triumphs, bsa's and velocettes, today, there are only three bikes in the shop, a trident, a velo and norton, just stationary displays, the majority of the custom comes via e-bay and it's reflected in the shop, back home, brew on and sort out the bonny forks, new seals and o-rings, dress up the cartridges and re-assemble, on to the sporty, lay the engine over on the shop mat, ignition side down, pack with rags so we don't scratch the frame and carefully place the frame over the mill. standard mounting hardware loosely in position, [stainless kit to follow], clean up the standard mounting hardware and one, two, three, up onto the bike lift, time to drink in the details, the drilled head-steady, the drilled bottom engine mounts and the cleaned up steering head, remember the standard steering head?, i chopped the steering lock out and the frame mounted lock bracket, chris w welded up the hole and i dressed it all up with a file and a couple of hours worth of wet and dry, look's a lot cleaner than the standard sporty frame, cost's nothing and looks cool to boot.



Wednesday, 29 December 2010


as soon as the fixtures are announced i look for derby vs forest, to get one over on our scutty neighbours down the a52 is a joyous occasion [ and a good pay day for them as it's the only game of the year that they can sell out, that's the fickle nature of the scum i'm afraid], jack and me got into town around 1600 hours meeting up with nick and roy in the 'leaper for a couple of port and lemon's, taxi to our favourite indian for a curry and make the short stroll to the merry widows to pick up our coach for the short journey to snottingham, just like the old day's the coach is rammed with some dodgy fuckers from back in the day, half way down the a52 they are fighting amongst themselves and it's all going pete tong, off the bus at the shitty ground and the atmosphere is electric, i try and catch it on film and take a picture, [third one down], 'can you come over here mate?' i look up and some bloke in a forest green steward jacket is ushering me to one side, 'it's an offence to take photographs inside the ground' 'mate, i'm a hundred yard's away from the ground so how is that an offence?', 'it just is so put your camera away or i'm going to have to confiscate it', 'listen to me, i'm not inside the ground, therefore there is no offence so fuck off and threaten somebody who gives a fuck before i take some photo's of your insides', at this point he loses interest and goes off to pick on someone who he can frighten, game kicks off and we are one nil down within a minute, we pull one back but they score two more, we look frightened to death and end up on the wrong side of a 5-2 dicking, we didn't turn up tonight, they looked completely average but we had no backbone and didn't take the fight to them, that's the way it goes i'm afraid, the good thing is, it's less than a month 'til we get them back to our place..........


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

1700hrs and me and dangerous are in the shed, i'm stripping paint off my engine, the nitomors is burning me, 'want a brew youth?', i rip off my gloves and go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, the backdoor opens and dangerous is standing there ashen faced, 'what's up dave?' say's mr'sb, 'i've stabbed myself with a pair of scissors, i was trying to trim up the wiring loom and booof!', there's blood everywhere, fuck, don't know what to do so i mash the tea, mr's b takes over, cleaning and dressing the wound, one-nil to the bonneville......
bonny fork seal, 'you're kung-fu is rubbish, ha haaaa, haaaah!'
trev 'the rev' taylor, my backyard early '80s, trev was an apprentice a couple of year's younger than me and this is his 250 honda superdream with clip-ons and dunstall mega, this photo was taken on the day he passed his test and he went out a few days later and bought a kawasaki z1r, he really didn't click with the big four-stroke and traded it in for a 350lc, we went to silverstone for the grand-prix in august, me on my gs1000 and trev on the lc, norman brown the irish racer was killed in an accident during the 500 race and we decided to skin out early instead of watching the rest of the races, as we walked back to our bikes i spotted my gs but trev's lc was gone, probably a victim of the proddy racing 'steal to order' gang's of the time, trev was gutted, i was gutted, i gave him a lift to the police station on my bike to report it missing but i couldn't even give him a lift home because i had my girlfriend riding pillion, i got back to the circuit, fighting my way against all the traffic trying to get out of the carpark, the girlfriend was well pissed off, it had just started raining, as we made our way north on the a5 the rain became torrential, we were soaked within seconds, the temperature dropped, very unseasonal for august, we stopped in hinckley for petrol, pressed the button and the bike wouldn't start, water had got in somewhere, out with the tool's, track and chase, garage owner comes out around 2200 hours, 'sorry mate, i'm going to have to close up', girlfriends asleep on the floor by now, i'm shaking with cold, fingers numb, i turn the headlight off and for some reason press the button, the bike coughs and starts, we ride back, i have no headlight, everytime i flick the lights on the motor dies, so, we make the journey back in almost darkness, headlight on, sssttttt, headlight off, cough, can't see where we are going, headlight on, cough, sssttttt, get home around midnight, one of my favourite racers has been killed, i'm fucking soaked and cold and my mate has had his bike nicked and to top it all the bird is giving me shit, deep joy......

Monday, 27 December 2010

mrs b on my honda xbr 5oo chop, didn't have a shed back then so built this one in a lean-too on the back of our house, forks and wheels were out of an xs 250 yamaha custom, [the original honda wheels were the horrible 'comstar' stock pressed aluminium things, spent hours wet and drying the polished rims and spokes on the wheels , masking up the rest and hand painting 'jap-lac' the rest, the round oil tank was a disaster, the chain hit the under side of it and i had to have it 'windowed' to allow for the chain-run, all this after having it painted, the rear mudguard is horrible! it needed pulling forward about 15" and a side mounted rear numberplate  instead of trying to keep everything symmetrical, really liked the xbr 500 engine, ran one for a few years as my daily transport, they did pretty well in single cylinder racing as i recall, quite a few ended up having exotic racing frames wrapped around them.....
after cutting down the cam cover the primary drive cover looked a bit unbalanced left in in it's natural crinkle black finish so i set too christmas night after everyone had gone to bed and nitromorsed the black paint off, scraping away with an old rac membership card until dawn, two dogs, asleep on the chair, radio six and a bottle of wine for company, love this time of night, worked through 'til the early hours, boxing day night same again, everyone in bed and i worked my way down from 400 grit wet and dry to 1500 to finish, this afternoon i'm back in the shed while the girls hit the sale's, finish off with solvol and get the leaking fork seals out of the bonny fork-legs for dangerous, he is flinching as i attack them with my screwdriver and 'toffee hammer', sorry mate, sometimes you just need to use brute force to get results.....

Friday, 24 December 2010

keyrings from barse at abk blogspot, beers fom stella artois, happy xmas everyone.....
another sneak preview, the dangerous bonneville.
powdercoating's back.black.shiny.nice.

grant asked how the breather worked on the sporty so i will try my best to explain, the sportsters build up pressure in the rockerboxers so have to vent to atmosphere to prevent the gaskets giving up the ghost, on a standard sporty they vent through the carb mounting bolts back into the massive 'egg' shaped air filter assembly, i really don't like this as it hides the engine which, let's face it, really is a nice looking mill, so, the standard mounting bolts were counter drilled 10mm metric and a groove machined around them, [photo 1], 20mm aluminium scrap from my favourite scrappy's and a cardboard template and compass to determine the shape of the combined carb mounting/breather plate, working out the mikuni mounting flange pcd was a nightmare, dangerous said it couldn't be done, i had a sleepless night working it out, the mounting plate was then cross drilled at 45 degrees  and the outside of the mounting plate tapped 4mm and blanked off with a grub screw, [photo 2], the cross drilling vent's back into the bellmouth so you don't get any oil blowing back all over the engine as it's ingested back into the motor, not the best thing on a performance level as you need a neat petrol/air mix for optimum performance but it stops you ruining your beige golfing slacks with oil stains, [photo 3[, hope this explains what's going on here, yeah, i know it's sad but these things matter to me.....

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


sneak preview of the sporty mill, really pleased with the timing case, lot of work, cutting all the surplus metal away with a hacksaw, on the miller to straighten everything up and then a lot of hours slogging away with the wet and dry, worth it though when you see the cheeky little oil pump underneath, got to drop the heads off now and re-time the cams, the carb-mounting/ bellmouth is a work of art, if you know sporties you know they breathe through the air filter mounting bolts back into the standard airfilter box, this is a one-off mounting carved by dangerous on the miller, we had to cross-drill it and the mounting bolts so the breather lines up when you tighten it up, didn't even notice that did you?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

racers, harley davidson and jack russell terriers, two of my favourite things, racers and jack russells.

Monday, 20 December 2010

how cool?, forget choppers, forget bobbers, prism tanked, gold-leafed, goose-necked framed sporty diggers are where it's at man, love this bike, beautiful.

vincent "vinny" adams, his old man named him after stevenage's finest motorcycle, vinny was five foot seven of pure anarchy, he was one of the hardest men i have ever met, he would fight anyone no matter how big they were, he was like a little terrier, once he got that 'look' in his eye he was gone, he did some time for robbery back in the day, he would say to me 'you would be ok in there becauase you read a lot and that would pass the time for you, can't be arsed with all that bollocks!', he was a demon on a bike, we would race everywhere, he turned legitimate and raced big jappers in the earlystocks series and later long circuit kart racing, i remember riding to darley moor one day in the pouring rain and he was in the lead going at a good rate of knot's for the conditions, i like the rain and it doesn't bother me when the bike gets twitchy so i passed him, he was right up my pipe all the way to darley but he couldn't pass me, we pulled in to the circuit, payed and parked up, he took off his helmet and i saw he wasn't happy, 'you fucking nobhead, it's pissing down and your'e riding like a twat, and i'm piss-wet through, why didn't you stop so i could put my leggings on?', he flashed me the vinny grin and i knew that i had the seal of approval, we rode thousands of miles together, our favourite was always the transatlantic race series held over the easter holidays, brands on good friday, mallory on sunday and oulton park on easter monday, we had regular weekends away in west wales, the bottom photo was taken on the gower peninsular in the early eighties, that's me on the left when i had hair and i don't know what was happening with the facial hair! , the top photo is vince on his gs750 at a 'run-wot-you-brung' at santa pod, i'm digging the belstaff wax cotton jacket and 'peek-a-boo' ankle exposing jeans and trainers combo, vinny passed away three years ago, a victim of cancer, he left a big hole in a lot of peoples lives.......

Saturday, 18 December 2010

forest away, the hottest ticket in town, three and a half hour queue at pride park in the freezing cold, four thousand two hundred and fifty tickets allocated to us, all gone in a couple of hours, people were queueing around the ground in the hope of getting one, many of them going home dissapointed, the fixture falls halfway between christmas and the new year, most people are on holiday so will probably spend the majority of the day in the pub before making their way to the match, you can get a train to snottingham but for some reason the last train home is before the game ends, so we have over four thousand rams fans who have been on the piss all day stuck in snottingham, wonder what might happen?

Friday, 17 December 2010


katana, not just a run of the mill gsx1100 katana but the gsx 1000s model, homologation rules stated that cubic capacity was limited to 1000cc, the katana packed 998cc, slide carbs, [compared to the cv items on the 1100] and hotter cams, four-valves per cylinder compared to the old two valvers of the gs range, 108bhp, not massive compared to current bikes but this 1981 remember, no elvis, beatles or the rolling stones, no mobile phones and no internet, just striking miners, power-cuts and austin allegro's, i saw the advert in mcn and phoned the number, two miles away from my house, went and had a butchers, rough as fuck bog standard bike, £900 changed hands, sold my gs 1000 same day to a local admirer, back in the shed and ripped down to component parts, frame in for powder, black instead of silver, the ratty two-tone seat in blue suede was re-covered in black vinyl by a mate at mercian cycles, [pushbike manufacturers[ for a tenner, rg 500 mudguard, aeroquip hosing, [including the mechanical anti-dive that didn't work], sprayed the engine matt black, [25bhp gain = result!], top yoke off a gsx 1100 to accomodate  eddie lawson superbike bars, no indicators or mirrors, harris works pipe, looking back on this bike i realise how good it was, i compromised by keeping the dual seat and footpegs so the girl i lived with at the time could ride pillion, should have got rid of her sooner and shortened everything back and lost the pegs in hindsight.......... life would have been easier and my bike would have looked better...............[the photo's were taken by my old next door neighbour who was a bit of a photo buff and had all the top gear]

Thursday, 16 December 2010

my gs1000 in development, lot of work went into it over this winter, engine was shipped up to bg racing in manchester, [barry gannon used to work for pip higham at the village bike shop, i went up to walkden to talk to pip about tuning my bike and he was really not interested, his mechanic was barry who i got on with and after he left the v.b.s set up on his own at his brothers garage], big bore kit, head work and revised cam timing along with a decent electronic ignition and harris 'works' black chrome, [fuck me, remember them?] and the motor was sorted, the frame got a lot of attention, [if you look carefully you can see the additional bracing tube in the 'v' of the frame below the belray sticker], also added bracing around the headstock under the tank, the brakes were updated with brembo's, [off a guzzi, stripped down and sprayed gold to look like goldlines] and a rear off a mba racer that i scored off sweary bob at spondon racing complete with hanger plate and spacers for a swap with a 25ltr drum of dromus 'b' cutting oil that i nicked from work, i didn't bother fitting the chrome cam cover ends and cut down the side-panels, reflectors on the tail unit, cut down the rear mudguard, junked the centre stand, indicators and sprayed the motor black, [black engines are worth 25bhp, true, ok it's not true but it looks like it should do], the ridiculous xs 1100 headlight stayed, [remember this was the era of the yamaha seca], i rode it until the autumn and then i was offered a deal i couldn't turn down so i let it go and bought a ................

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

last couple of night's have been a blur, dangerous is on a mission with the bonneville tt racer/flatracker project, he's like a man possesed, stripping things off it, cleaning, modifying, machining, speaking in tongues and swearing, me? i just set to with the drill and spent a couple of hour's lightening the top engine mount, bottom mounts and head steady, off for powdercoating tomorrow along with the frame and swingarm.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

nobby and big geoff, location is nobby's backyard in long eaton, we were getting the chop ready to take it up to liverpool to meet some irish lad's who had seen the advert in back street heroes, i hired a van and me, nob and his brother paul went up to liverpool to meet the overnight ferry from ireland, we were tooled up with baseball bats and knives, it was a right culture shock, dawn over the dock's, just a porta-cabin, nowhere to even get a cup of tea, we watched the ferry back onto the dock, fuck me, the whole club had made the journey over the water, they stood on the back of the boat looking down at us, seemed like an eternity as we waited, they were mob handed, at least ten lad's against our three, 'you nobby', 'yeah. that's me', 'wheres the bike?', 'you got the money?', ' aye, we got the money', remember this is the time of the troubles, they are a right crew, rough as fuck, i open the doors on the hired transit and we wheel the chop out, it's so low we have to lift it onto the wooden scaffolding plank to get it out, ''foookin 'elll', ' that's sweet lad, i need a ride', ' fuck off' says nobby, i want to die, my bum does a twitchy thing, i'm about to shit myself, we are going to die and be thrown to the fishes in fucking liverpool, ' i'll take you on the back', says nob, 'ok big maaaan', this giant gets on the back of the chop and nob bends forward and starts the bike, four open pipes barking and they are gone down the cobbled dock road, the bike is slithering from side to side as it fights for traction, they are wearing no helmets and i can hear the monster on the back shrieking like a girl, 'pay the man boy's', they get the cash out from their pockets, bags and even socks, we shake hands and watch them board the ferry with the bike, what happened to snw 628r?, ed, stuka, any ideas?
russ stanley on his harris gs1000, red frame, dymag three spokes, brembo's, white bell star-2 helmet, leather jacket, levi's and white hi-tops, oh yeah, an xs1100 headlight too, i can remember seeing russ and his wife julie at matlock, darley moor, donington and all the biker pubs like the telegraph, silk mill and seven stars, his bikes were always immaculate, he used to check out my bike and i used to check out his, we would nod an acknowledgement of a job well done but never speak to each other, that was to change when we lined up at long marston, [shakespear county raceway, or the home of the bulldog bash as it's now known], of all the people for me to be drawn against it's only the coolest kid in school, i get my favoured left lane, we both do a big smoky burn-out, lights go out and i catch him out of the corner of my eye, he's almost vertical on the short wheelbased harris, trying to keep the front end down, i'm hanging over the front end keeping my weight forward and my standard length gs is the tool for the job, i'm through the timing lights first and turn to look back at russ, he catches me on the return road, i look into his black visor, he looks into mine and he offers his hand, we were firm friends from that moment on, we used to watch endless replays of joey dunlop in the 'roadracers' vhs video, 'v for victory' the tt on board classic and our favourite 'fast freddie' where spencer takes on aldana, pietri and lawson on the massive horsepower but poor handling production based superbikes, we built bikes together, laughed 'til we cried and russ introduced me to the joy's of chilli, i never realised food could taste so good, i will never forget the day julie phoned me to tell me russ had been killed on his bike on his way home from work. 'put that shannon record on youth, 'let the music play', i'm goin' to do some of that break dancing, where's me fucking inhaler!...........'

Saturday, 11 December 2010

dangerous has finally picked up his new project, strange how things work out sometimes, we had been watching bikes on e-bay and really thought we were on the way to wales to pick up a bike, dangerous had bid on a bike, exactly the same bid as the one that won it only he was too late, first bid wins, then we hear about a bike for sale in the village, less than 300yards away from my house, we go up and have a look midweek, stick an offer in and he accepts, the bike is pushed down the road and into the loveless hq, two hours later it's running and loads of redundant parts consigned to the parts bin, seventies style tt racer coming up......
always loved my big suzuki's, this was my gs750, out with vince for a midweek scratch, one of those late spring night's, the day's getting longer, we head out into south derbyshire and staffordshire, vinny comes past me on a corner, the bike is bucking and weaving, he's leaving a trail of spaks as his suspension bottoms out and he's grinding his stand on the tarmac, left-hander approaching, i do him here everytime, he hates this corner, i love it, brake light comes on, bye, bye bastard!, got you! oh fuck!, slow-mo, back end slides out fast on the trail of mud the farmer has left spread across the road, bars snatch to the left  and out of my hands as they grip again, left hand grip hits me in the ribs and smashes them, i head butt the tacho, time to bale out, [as if i have a choice....], earth, sky, sliiide, burning, pain, bastard, i try and stand up and fall over, my ribs are fucked, the bike is in the ditch on the right, vince has turned round and is running back to the scene of destruction, 'fuck me, you alright?, that was a big one mate!, fuck me! where's your jeans gone?', i don't know what to do, i'm in shock, my ribs, my bike, [force of the impact ripped the engine out of the frame] and i'm standing there with no jeans on, happy day's........

Thursday, 9 December 2010

mine and vinny's gs1000's at santa pod mid eighties, taking a breather between competing in the ultimate streetbike races, we had similar tastes in bikes as you can see, i went blue, vince went red, similar things?, rg 500 front mudguards, micron forkbraces, vincent straight bars, white springs on our marzochi remote reservoir shocks, same seats, [can't remember the name], alpha 4 into 1 exhausts, vince was packing a gsx1100 aluminium swinging arm, me?, aftermarket deep braced metmachex 'arm, vince, white powdercoated 'snowflake' wheels, me?, polished rim's with blue spray painted wheels, 'cir-cycle' bellmouths and aeroquip brake hosing, yeah, you can laugh at the styling now but we took our cue's from our heroes, wes cooley, eddie lawson and dave aldana, we were in the shed every night, getting bruised fingers and making mistakes.
back to the eighties again, here's me at santa pod raceway competing in the old 'superbike' magazine ultimate streetbike competition, basically, you turned up at the dragstrip and raced head to head with whover you were drawn against in the next lane, it was run on the old 'run-wot-you-brung' rules, the scrutineering was a basic glance at the bike, no noise reg's, helmet, boots and gloves the only protection required and bang, you're racing, i'm still wearing my trusty, bell helmet, doc martin and levi's combo, the bike has lost the bikini 's'fairing as a result of a lowside midweek slide while racing vinny adams on the roads, the headlight is off an xs1100 yamaha, the look seemed a radical styling exercise back in the day,[ must admit it look's pretty pant's now], motorcycle's popularity was at an all time low back then, there wasn't the same 'cool' connection as there is now, people looked at you differently to today, we rode our bikes to the 'strip, got as many run's in as we could and if we didn't blow them up or crash, rode them home again, [racing from every set of 'light's].

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

timing case cleaned up on the miller to a rough shape, still plenty of hand filing to finish, attacked the ratty 'crinkle' black with some nitromors and jessica's toothbrush, [must remember to wash it out and put it back in the bathroom before the morning] what you saying about nitromors?, strange stuff, iv'e learn't my lesson and now wear gloves when i'm using it but, somehow, it still manages to get down the inside and burn your wrist, or, worse still, you go for a slash or rub your eyes.......and...............

Sunday, 5 December 2010

me, early eighties, council house carpark, derby, burnout, suzuki gs 1000, check out all the eighties styling, leather jacket, bell star helmet with black visor, doc martin boots, [cherry red, a nod to my skinhead/punk day's], aeroquip hoses, polished rims, pirelli phantom's, metmachex aluminium swinging arm, marzochi shocks, spray painted british leyland blue, white powdercoated springs, no indicators, no mirrors, police arrived around 5 minutes later, the mayor, ron longden had called them, he was one of the people responsible for getting the sex pistol's banned from derby and i actually worked for him when i was an apprentice too, cost me a 40 quid fine but it was worth every penny......